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Study: Untreated Vision Impairment Associated with Dementia

Researchers have made a systematic review of over 76,000 older-aged subjects in 16 different studies to evaluate the association between vision problems and cognitive issues. 

The findings indicated that Vision Impairment (VI) was significantly associated with cognitive impairment and dementia in older adults.

Among individuals who had a sight problem, the incidence of cognitive impairment was 137% higher compared to those without vision impairment.

Persons with a vision problem at the start of an evaluation had a 41% higher risk of developing cognitive impairment and a 44% higher risk of dementia compared with those who did not.

The association, however, does not indicate any causal relationship.  

The study authors suggest that treatment of vision impairment through optical correction or cataract surgery could be beneficial for maintaining cognitive function. 

The authors conclude, “regular eye screening examinations are important for older adults to maintain both visual and cognitive function, especially for older adults with perception of VI in daily life.”

Study results were published in Aging and Mental Health, a peer-reviewed journal. The authors called out the need for future research and randomized clinical trials to determine how addressing older persons’ vision issues might better avoid dementia.

The article, entitled, “The association between vision impairment and cognitive outcomes in older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis”,  is an open-access paper published May 2022.

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